Legal Question in Civil Litigation in Ohio

My last name is Schuman, I want to open a meat shop but my father which was the original founder over 60 years ago of Schuman's Meats sold it to his younger brother, how can I use my last name without infringing or having any legal issues with him. ?my Uncle

Asked on 7/27/16, 10:04 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

John Sauter Cloppert, Latanick, Sauter & Washburn

You're going to have legal issues if you use your last name to open a meat shop when your uncle owns a meat ship that has been in business for over 60 years with the same name. The reason is that the average consumer would likely think that the two shops are owned by the same individual, when the opposite is true. A judge would likely issue an injunction preventing you from using your last name in the operation of a meat shop. This would obviously be a different scenario if you wanted to go into a different line of business. For example, it would be perfectly acceptable to open a business called "Schuman's Vacuum Cleaners," etc., because there would be no risk for consumer confusion. Unless you can get your uncle to agree to let you use your name, I would advise you to pick a new, different name for your business.

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Answered on 7/28/16, 6:08 am

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